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ABOUT BEARING REMOVAL

The Right Way To Remove Bearing Races

 

WHEEL BEARING RACE REMOVAL - HOW IT'S DONE IS IMPORTANT

USING A HAMMER AND PUNCH IS GUARANTEED TO DAMAGE YOUR HUBS

In the last few years, we've come to realize that the tried and true method to remove the bearing races in your aluminum hubs is with a good old fashioned hammer and punch. In fact, only very rarely do we find a shop that does it any other way. So what's the problem with a hammer and punch you ask? Well first and foremost, driving the races out of the hub with a punch virtually guarantees damage to the bottom of the bearing bores, which will prevent the race from evenly seating in the pocket. The way this happens is simple. When you drop that punch against the back of the race, it's at a bit of an angle. So when you strike it with a hammer, it goes down alright but it also goes sideways. And because aluminum is very soft it produces a "dent" that pushes some of that aluminum "over and up" creating a "bump" smack dab on the surface that the bearing race butts up against. The result is the bearing does not sit flush and square in the bottom of the bore. And this happens EVERY TIME the punch is hit. Twelve hits, twelve "mounds".     Big-Rig Wheel Hub
If that's not enough, spindle flex will then push the bearing further against that surface, flattening the mounds slightly, thereby increasing the end play and raising the risk of premature seal failure and uneven tire wear. Fortunately, there's a way to check for that. Using a .001" or .002" feeler gauge. Try to insert it at the bottom of the race and the race pocket in several places. If it does not go, you're fine. If it does, you're not going to have a good day. Because the fix is not easy. The races have to come out and that bearing pocket needs to be re-surfaces. So our advice is simple. NEVER allow anyone to use that method. If someone insists on doings the hard way, they can use a 3/4 or 1" pipe. A pipe cannot move sideways with enough force to damage the race pocket.   Hub Cross Section

A COMMON AND MUCH EASIER METHOD:

A very common (and much simpler) method is to use a welder. Simply run a bead or two on the face of the race. After a minute or two, this will shrink the outer diameter sufficiently to tap it out without damage. If your past procedure has been to use a hydraulic press, this will also work well. Note: Applying penetrating oil round the races will help, as will the application of heat to the hubs (up to 300 deg). 

  Proper Bearing Race Location

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